The media family on device "xxxx.bak" is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family.

  • I know this question has been posted before but I can not find a resolution to this issue. Here's what's happening, I am creating a full back up from server A to a network drive. When I run "RESTORE VERIFYONLY FROM DISK" I get the error message "The media family on device "xxxx.bak" is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family."

    Both servers are 2008 and, I tried the BACKUP command with and without the FORMAT option. Also to test the access rights, I created a full back up from server B to the same network drive and ran "RESTORE VERIFYONLY FROM DISK" on it and it was fine.

    I having trouble understanding when you create a full backup from one server right to a network drive, how that file can become corrupt to another server of the same SQL version? Is there some kind of option I am missing in the BACKUP command?

  • Are you sure they're exactly the same version of SQL Server? Because it sounds like you're getting a version error. Could the one server be SQL Server 2008R2 and the other is 2008? That will cause this issue. I assume verify only will work from the original server? Can you look at the backup header to validate it's accessible?

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Server A version = "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP2) - 10.50.4000.0 (X64)

    Jun 28 2012 08:36:30

    Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation

    Standard Edition (64-bit) on Windows NT 6.1 <X64> (Build 7600: )"

    Server B version = "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP3) - 10.50.6000.34 (X64)

    Aug 19 2014 12:21:34

    Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation

    Standard Edition (64-bit) on Windows NT 6.3 <X64> (Build 9600: )"

    "RESTORE HEADERONLY FROM DISK" produces the same error message.

  • And yes, "VERIFYONLY" will only work from the original server.

  • You might want to go look at the documentation for SP3. Maybe there's something that if fixes that mess with restores from SP2. That's my best guess at the moment.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Can you restore the backup on the original server (if it's production, obviously, move it to a different database in the restore)?

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Do you have third party software installed on one of the servers for doing backups?

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • Yes I was able to restore the backup to the original server. Yes litespeed is installed on that server but just to clarify, I did not use it to take the backup. I never thought about litespeed causing the error.

  • It could be litespeed. It substitutes it's backup process for SQL Server, even if you're not calling it directly. Litespeed has a utility for unpacking backups to make them standard. Run that on the backup. I'll bet it works then.

    ----------------------------------------------------
    The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...
    Theodore Roosevelt

    The Scary DBA
    Author of: SQL Server 2017 Query Performance Tuning, 5th Edition and SQL Server Execution Plans, 3rd Edition
    Product Evangelist for Red Gate Software

  • sounds like its a Litespeed backup, a Litespeed backup will not be recognised by the database engine, the backup format is different.

    Litespeed will, however, recognise and restore a native SQL server backup.

    Try the following against the backup file

    exec master.[dbo].[xp_restore_headeronly]

    @filename = N'drive:\path\filename.bak'

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Ya can't make an omelette without breaking just a few eggs" 😉

  • That was it. Litespeed was the issue. I'll just script out everything using litespeed stored procedures. Thanks again for taking the time to help me resolve this issue, much appreciated.

  • Any other thoughts on this situation when Litespeed is not involved? I have a SQL2005 database in production that we are preparing to move to a SQL2008 R2 instance. The backup restores fine to a SQL2005 test instance, but we get this error when trying to restore to a SQL 2008 R2 test instance. This started happening about 2 days ago. Prior to this, the restore was working fine on our test 2008 instance. Our other two main production databases restore fine to a 2008 R2 test instance. The inconsistency is frustrating.



    Del Lee

  • Are you FTPing the backup files to allow your target server to access them?

  • dsorensen 74234 (8/8/2016)


    Are you FTPing the backup files to allow your target server to access them?

    No, there is no FTPing involved in my scenario.



    Del Lee

  • “The media family on device '*.bak' is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family”

    /*****************Quick Answer***************************/

    Error: The media family on device is incorrectly formed. SQL Server cannot process this media family

    --> "Backup is correct and one is trying to restore on lower version or backup was done using some third party tool like lite speed ,red gate etc."

    Error: The file on device is not a valid Microsoft Tape Format backup set.”

    Note: SQL server doesn’t support restore from higher to lower version.

    --> "backup is corrupt"

    /***************************************************/

    You can refer demo to prove here: http://saurabhsinhainblogs.blogspot.in/2013/05/the-media-family-on-device-daeppbak-is.html

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